All children misbehave. It is normal when children are tired, hungry, afraid, or learning independence. And they can drive us crazy when stuck at home.
One-on-one time, praise for being good, and consistent routines will reduce bad behaviour.
Say the behaviour you want to see
Use positive words when telling your child what to do; like ‘Please put your clothes away’ (instead of ‘Don’t make a mess’)
It's all in the delivery
Shouting at your child will just make you and them more stressed and angrier. Get your child’s attention by using their name. Speak in a calm voice.
Praise your child when they are behaving well
Try praising your child or teenager for something they have done well. They may not show it, but you’ll see them doing that good thing again. It will also reassure them that you notice and care.
Can your child actually do what you are asking them? It is very hard for a child to keep quiet inside for a whole day but maybe they can keep quiet for 15 minutes while you are on a call.
Help your teen stay connected
Teens especially need to be able to communicate with their friends. Help your teen connect through social media and other safe distancing ways. This is something you can do together, too!
Managing bad behaviour
Try these three tips to manage bad behaviour in your home:
- Redirect Stop it before it starts! When they start to get restless, you can distract with something interesting or fun: “Come, let’s go outside for a walk!”
- Use consequences Using Consequences help teach our children responsibility for what they do. They also allow discipline that is controlled. This is more effective than hitting or shouting. Give your child a choice to follow your instruction before giving them the consequence. Try to stay calm when giving the consequence, make sure it's something you can follow through with, and when it's over, find a way to praise your child for something good they've done.
- Take a pause Feel like screaming? Give yourself a 10-second pause. Breathe in and out slowly five times. Then try to respond in a calmer way.